My yard is the size of a postage stamp, but it keeps me busy. My husband and I live in the house my Mom and Dad lived in for more than 40 years. Mom was a nurse and a Master Gardener. I am neither. While I don’t intend to hook up a catheter or assist in a triple cardiac bypass, I do love to putter around in the yard.
Unstoring and cleaning summer furniture and yard equipment; filling pots with composted soil; raking leaves and uncovering the newborn buds and sprouts beneath; pruning overgrowth — nothing relaxes me more. Except maybe the glass of wine I have after working in the yard all day.
By June, the posts will be filled with flowers, the trees will be lush (and me too, if I keep up the gardening/wine combo), baby birds will join their parents at the birdfeeders, along with the neighbor’s quite audacious squirrel and Mamma Rabbit and her babies who live under the bushes in the front of the house and oh yes, the hawk that waits patiently at the top of the tulip tree to dive into a feast of his own making.
In March, I start getting in shape for my summer gardening hobby by 1.) forgetting I’m not 35; 2.) falling over while putting my pants on and balancing on one foot, and; 3.) throwing my back out after bending over to retrieve my pants.
Shouldn’t there be some kind of licensing system for those who wish to become parents? A license is required to fish, style hair or stuff dead animals, for crying out loud.
This from a woman who probably could not have passed a test to have any of the four children she gave birth to.
In the early 1970s I had my first child in southern California while married to her Marine Corps dad, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton. An officer’s wife, who ran a women’s group for the Marine infantry wives, told me the average age of the female spouses in the group was 15. I was 19, old and wise and almost AARP material in their eyes.
I got my first glimpse into the world of Lil’ Miss Moms when one cute, but ditsy, young newlywed and mother (the two were sometimes synonymous) showed me a large knife placed under her baby’s crib. She said her infant son had an earache and the knife would “cut his pain.”
Honest. To. God.
Anyway, here’s an easy Parental Ability Test. Be honest. And, if you have more than four affirmative answers … well, can you spell c-o-n-d-o-m?
You should rethink having a child if:
• You think the birth canal is in South America.
• You have ever uttered the phrase: “My kid will never do that.”
• You would put a knife under your baby’s crib to cut the pain.
• You get gaggy at the sight of vomit, phlegm, blood, boogers or runny, greenish-yellow poo.
• You were never a teenager.
• You were a teenager, but can’t remember it because you were stoned out of your mind.
• You are now an adult and still stoned out of your mind.
• You think you will look like Pregnant Barbie and have your child effortlessly by pulling it from a plastic flap in your belly.
• You think that children will bring you and your mate “closer together.”
• You think children, adolescents and teenagers have a natural, instinctive ability to apply reason and common sense. (or you think you can “train” them to do so.)
• You currently reside in a dumpster by night and a public library by day.
• You know that if you were in charge of your friends’ children, you could straighten those brats out.
• You want to wait to bring any children into the world until: 1.) You and your partner are financial stable; 2.) Congress actually works together for the good of the people, or; 3.) There is peace on Earth.
• You have ever thought about naming a child after the sponsor of your favorite NASCAR driver — including Prilosec, Viagra, Dasani, Dupont Tyvek, Sprint Nextel, Wishbone, Bud Lite, Bud Weiser, Ann Heuser, Pabst (do not even think about Smirr for a middle name!), Corona, Heine Ken or Red Bull (exceptions on Red Bull: a Sioux Indian or Spanish matador).
• You ever again expect to go to the bathroom by yourself or sleep eight consecutive hours.
• You occasionally smoke crack to “energize.”
• You have ever said “Bubbah and I are going to a Proud Boys kegger after we bet on the cock fights over at Thugger Joe’s.”
• You plan to train your child to perform on stage, dance provocatively, apply garish makeup and win the USA Jr. Miss Potty-Trained Tiara Toddler crown by the time she’s 12 months old.
• You want to have a litter of kids so you can make lots of money with your own reality show.